On The Pain of Dating, The Pain of Love:
With the advent of #metoo, I ‘ve been thinking a LOT about the pain caused between men and women, men and men and to, I imagine, a far lesser extent, women and women.
I originally got into the dating and relationship “business” because I wanted to figure it out for myself.
I had been married from 23-39 and suddenly was single…
And I didn’t know ANYTHING.
Being a dad and husband was my entire adult experience.
And back then, I launched into the dating world with high spirits and a sense of adventure.
It was soooooooooooooooo much fun at first!
I LOVED the attention, sex and love I received from women.
I loved connecting deeply with new women – new lives, new viewpoints, cultures, stories – it was fun and fascinating.
But the more deeply I got to know individual women, the more I have coached men and the more I do this work – the more I see navigating PAIN at the core of intimacy.
Getting close to another human being means opening up your wounds – whether you like it or not.
Suddenly, you feel more insecure.
All your anxieties come to the surface – “what if they leave me?” “what if they get to know me and THEN reject me?” “what if I learn that I am inadequate in some horrible way? “what if they discover my secret shames?”
In two of the the books we have covered here in the Smart Dater’s Academy – “Wired for Love” and “Wired for Dating” by Dr. Stanley Tatkin – we learned that relationship means we WILL hurt each other – and then heal. We will hurt again – and learn how to heal a little faster. We will learn to hurt each other less – and heal even faster than that.
It’s a process that actually doesn’t end.
We just get better at recovering from hurting each other – whether on purpose or by mistake.
So what started out as a “wheeeeeeeee – I’m gonna go date women!” has modulated a bit…
I’ve learned just how wounded, hurtable and tender we all are…
The path toward intimacy and love and connection requires crossing the necessary dual minefields of each others wounds, disappointments and family roles…
I want you to read this important article on
your “role” in your family system…
I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently (because I’m back home in NY with my family in the house where I grew up!)…
… but also because of how harshly I treat myself given my self-created “rescuer” role
I carry a story that I was “born into” being a rescuer.
Because my sister was slowly dying when I was in utero and a baby.
So chemically – then as a small child – I was surrounded by grief and wanted to make everything okay for my mother. I want people to be happy and healed and not sad (strange career I got myself into, huh?
But part of being a rescuer is that I am brutal on myself when I feel as if I’ve failed someone.
A very wise friend told me last week that it’s possible to step out of this triangle by assuming the vantage point of STORYTELLER – taking control, in a sense, of the whole story…. and seeing it more objectively. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…
My goal in this work – is to help you (and me!) become smarter and smarter, more nuanced and strong, more skilled and deeper with regard to dating, intimacy, authentic connection and love.
This article will help.
Anytime you escape limitations on your capabilities – you win.